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Swiss executive seeks to buy bank

Former chief of the Denner Group, Karl Schweri, isn't thinking about retirement yet.

(Keystone / Str)

Karl Schweri, the 84 year-old founder of the Swiss discount retailer, Denner, has announced that he is hoping to acquire a banking institution.

In an advertisement in the French-language daily, Le Matin, Schweri said he was looking to buy "a bank or a majority stake in a bank" and that he "won't be content with a minority stake".

The move comes just days after Schweri handed over control of the entire Denner group, including the toy manufacturer, Franz Carl Weber, the distribution company, Waro, and Babycare, to his grandson, Philippe Gaydou.

However, he remains the major shareholder of the Denner group.

"I have a lot of time on my hands now and I'm looking forward to running my future bank," Schweri told the Sunday newspaper, SonntagsBlick.

The Swiss entrepreneur, whose personal fortune is estimated at between SFr 1.5 and 2 billion ($1 to $1.3 billion), has been shopping around for a suitable bank for several years.

Schweri already holds a minority stake in Austria Bank, where his shareholdings are worth SFr1.28 billion.

He has reportedly not yet decided how much he would be willing to spend on the purchase of his own bank.

Schweri is well-known in Switzerland for launching periodic referendum proposals calling for conservative and ultra-liberal reforms. None of his requests has passed so far.

His latest proposal in November, to dismantle Swiss health coverage, was defeated by an 82 per cent majority.

swissinfo with agencies

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